Jostling for position in downtown Columbus is continuing for local entrepreneurs, with The Golf Gallery shifting across the street from its current Broadway location to make way for a high-end liquor store planned in its old space.
On top of that, the Raymond Rowe Furniture store at 1200 Broadway, which has been vacant for several years except for an occasional warehouse sale, is changing ownership, confirmed Randall Rowe, vice president of Raymond Rowe Furniture.
“It’s supposed to close in the next few days,” Rowe said Monday of the real-estate transaction of the four-story, 50,000-square-foot building. A LoopNet real-estate marketing website had listed an asking price of $1.2 million for the property.
Rowe said the purchase is similar to the sale of the former Aaron’s Rents building at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street, which fetched $1.25 million last August when it was bought by a corporation named EJWH LLP. Real-estate attorney J. Barrington Vaught at the time said he completed the purchase for the corporation, but would not name them due to possible future property acquisitions by the entity.
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“I’m not sure who it is, to be honest,” Rowe said Monday of the 1200 Broadway sale as he was discussing The Golf Gallery’s move from 1208 Broadway — where it has been since opening in 1999 — to 1229 Broadway, across the street in space that had been home to Raymond Rowe Furniture’s office department. The furniture store’s main showroom and store is next door to the new Golf Gallery shop.
“It’s about 20 percent bigger and it’s a much nicer building,” Rowe said of the relocated golf store, which will have expanded display space, a larger cage for swinging a club to check it out, and the possibility at some point for adding a simulator fitting machine.
On Tuesday, Golf Gallery manager Larry Strickland said he was still settling into the new digs.
“There will probably be a little massaging of the whole place for about 30 more days,” he joked before adding his new place will offer shoppers a better shopping experience in general.
“The retail part of it looks excellent,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of work in the back rooms and some other areas. But as far as the shop itself, it looks good.”
In the 1208 Broadway storefront where Strickland had sold golf equipment and made repairs to clubs, there looks to be a liquor store of some sort. Pat Daniel, who confirmed she has bought the building, declined to say exactly what she has planned. She is seeking a alcohol beverage license from the city for sale of beer, wine and liquor that can be taken off the premises.
“I just am not in a position to explain it all right now,” said Daniel, who is chief executive officer of P&J Beverage Corp., which owns Forrest Road Package Store at 5070 Forrest Road in Columbus.
“It’s going to be kind of a trendy, high-end wine and liquor shop,” Strickland said. “It’s not going to be your typical liquor store. So I think that will be a cool place to go when she gets that finished.”
Daniel did say she’s eager to contribute to the economic resurgence in the downtown area, particularly the 1200 block of Broadway that has languished for years, unlike the 900 and 1000 blocks that have taken off with new businesses and more community activities.
“It is wonderful. I can’t wait to be a part of it. I’m just thrilled with it. That block is just exploding,” she said.
The latest dealings on the 1200 block of Broadway follow the purchase last month of another building at 1239 Broadway, with partners Miles Greathouse, Garrett Lawrence and Robert Battle planning a craft beer bar. To open early next year in space that once was known as Spices Lounge, some type of food will be offered with the input of Trevor Morris, the owner of Trevioli Artisan Pasta Company.
The real-estate speculation comes with Columbus State University adding more classrooms in the downtown area. The university’s new College of Education and Health Professions is being constructed on the former Ledger-Enquirer site at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street. Scheduled to open in fall 2016, the $25 million expansion of its downtown RiverPark campus will bring about 1,800 students and faculty to the immediate vicinity on any given day, with night classes also taking place.
Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Chuck Williams contributed to this report.